1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Liter Limited from North America - Comments

22nd Dec 2005, 11:04

OK, I stand corrected. The Jeep Grand Cherokee with all-time four wheel wheel drive will not do it all. I am thirty five years old and not an old fart. The popular thing with the young guns today is "Drifting". Well this Jeep will NOT do that! This Jeep has traction all day long. I take great care of it and also drive it very hard. Even with the generous horsepower and torque it does not break traction... floor it and you are gone.

5th Dec 2007, 11:38

I have a 98 Limited and take it off road. The motor runs good. The interior is nice as well. But there are a lot of rink a dink things that break on it. I have replaced the water pump. The wheel bearing on front passenger side has failed three times already in under a year and now I have to replace it again. The axle looks fine and it is torqued to specs, but keeps failing. Now on the rear axle shaft the mount that bolts it to frame snapped in half. The headlights will not shut off without me pulling the fuse from under the hood every time as well. All in all I am impressed with the power and performance, when stuff is not broken or braking all the time.

16th May 2009, 17:02

I have had my 5.9 for five years. It has 200,000 miles on it. The only mechanical failure I have ever had was the fuel pump and catalytic converter. I would pay 40,000 in a heart beat for a another one with 5 miles or less. If you only knew the abuse the machine can stand. On your transmission I recommend a shift kit for the 5.9, not that mine has failed but the fact that when I had it put in it takes away slippage that 46Re trans appreciates. By the way I have a srt8 2007 and I like my mint condition 5.9 better: Gatlinburg, Tn.

11th Mar 2010, 23:08

I own a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.9L, and I take VERY good care of my truck. I love it and have a lot of fun driving it!

I was just wondering because this problem occurred tonight, and was curious if anyone knew how to fix it. When I open my passenger door, the lights do NOT turn on for some reason! The computer in my truck doesn't even read that the tight door is ajar. I was wondering roughly how to fix this problem or if I am looking at having to replace my whole electrical system. I'm hoping that it is something small that I could bring to a mechanic and only spend anywhere from $10-$50 bucks on getting it fixed ($50 being my limit).

If anyone knows how to fix this problem without having to spend money, I would GREATLY appreciate your help!

Thank you!!!

1st Apr 2010, 00:23

I think the door switch may be the culprit, since both the interior lights are off when the door is open, and the VIC didn't display the door open diagram. The switch may be bad, or the wiring to the switch was shorted.

30th Jul 2010, 06:27

I have a 98 5.9 Limited. I bought it for $2,700, with 130,000 miles on it. I never thought an SUV could be so much fun to drive (when I can get it away from my wife).

The motor just went in it because of some kind of cooling failure. Any ideas? The transmission has always given us problems too. It wants to stay in 2 gear, you have to let off the gas to let it shift into third, and then ease back on the gas until you're over 40 mph. Any ideas on that either? I think I'm going to put a new motor in it if I can figure out what happened to the first one. I hate to see it sit here in my driveway, not moving. I do have to say, there's nothing better than watching everyone's head turn when they hear you coming... What a sound.

21st Oct 2010, 12:30

I bought my 5.9 this year, 2010.

I love it. Someone before me really loved this truck, my only problem is the front end I replaced front shocks. Someone put Edlebrock shocks on it. Every time I go over a bump it bottoms out, so I put new shocks on her. She feels much better, but on big bumps it still feels like something is banging against the frame? Any clues out there?

Other than that, wow what a machine! Paid 2700! It has a sun roof and tow hooks option.

16th Nov 2010, 09:03

You can get that Jeep to drift; you just can't be scared of it, it is top heavy, so be careful, but if you turn and hammer on the gas right, she comes loose, trust me, and if you drop the front drive shaft or install the np242 transfer case, she gets more side ways than you want her to.

Good luck, and be careful.

31st Dec 2010, 11:48

11:59 AM.

I purchased my 5.9 in Oct of 1999 from its first owner down in Macon, GA. He didn't like it because it "got horrible gas mileage" (around 13 MPG HWY). He was right. Of course... like many of the things I read on forums like this... he didn't look for the cause. The tire pressure was below 20 PSI! I added air to about 40 PSI, and immediately got 19 MPG and actually scored 22 MPG on a trip to TX from GA.

It now has 146K miles on it, and I must say has been an EXCELLENT, dependable and versatile vehicle. Everything I've read out here about the performance and benefits, I agree.

The problems described I would categorize as not understanding the causes. Example... the only reoccurring problem I encountered on the drive line is CV boots tearing. They last for about four years and eventually rip... probably because of tight radius turns (my wife always forgets). Don't do it if you can help it, but if you must... take it slow! I have replaced the front wheel bearings once on each side. Don't buy cheap! Pay the money and get good replacements…. Plus ensure you use a proper bearing removal tool, tighten the torx bolts properly we reassembling… and use Loctite.

Front brake calipers go around 60K miles. I think it's the nature of the beast. I changed the fluid at 30K mile intervals, but they still seized. Good thing they are cheap!

Transfer case started binding up at around 100K miles. Guess what... my fault. I never performed maintenance on it! I was told it was a "sealed unit". Bull Crap! Change the fluid every 30K miles and avoid a costly replacement... same on the trans! If you do... it will last. My tranny shifts the same as it did when I bought it... and nothing but maintenance has been done. Note….I have the fluid FLUSHED at 60K mile intervals. That means hooking it up to the machine and having ALL fluid removed and replaced… including that in the torque converter!

Front and rear diffs... had issues early on during warranty. Factory knew Dana was using cheap bearings and gears. They made noise. I had them change them out with aftermarket on my last warranty visit. That was 130K miles ago. They begin to make noise around 30K miles and I change the dope. No problems. However, a rear axle seal is beginning to leak, so I will re-do the bearings when I replace the axle seals... to include the pinion bearing…. which should be around 147K miles (in the spring when I do annual douche).

Engine...has been flawless! I change the oil at 7K miles intervals and have only used Castrol 10W30. It uses around a quart between oil changes and has been that way since new (and I run this crap out of this!). Oh… and I've used Slick 50 twice and Lucas Once… not sure if it helps… but it still puts up with my abuse!

Water pump went at 120K miles, as did the power steering pump at 110K. Main pissing point is the radiator cooling fan... when it fails... you have to replace the entire assembly to include fan blade and housing. No motor only…. and unless I missed something, you can't find a one for one aftermarket replacement. I kept the old one and will rebuild it using a trusted resource so I can switch them out over time (it is a BOSCH part).

I replaced the heater core at 110K miles, and did the evaporator core while I was at it.

Suspension? NO REPLACEMENTS other than shocks (YOU MUST GREASE THEM AT EACH OIL CHANGE!). Last replacements were with Bilsteins... and I love them! WARNING - DON'T BREAK THE REAR TOP SHOCK MOUNT BOLTS….. I could find NO replacements!!! We had to weld a bolt onto the stud to fix!!! What a pain in the ass. Had I known… I would have waited the extra time and used a heck of a lot of penetrant on it, plus a high torque air gun. Instead I was in a hurry and used a breaker bar with a pipe extension! STUPID!!!

The vehicle loves to use tires because of the all wheel drive system. Keep air in your tires... and I recommend the max! It will handle better, give you better mileages... and won't contribute to premature wear on the drive line system. That's right... the Quadratrac system puts power to the wheel that has traction. If you have different pressure at each wheel, the traction system will sense the different revolution rates and try and compensate. Oh... I replaced my last set of tires with Yokohama Geolanders. AWESOME! I even went a size up and they ride the best... plus provide super traction in all conditions... include ice/snow.

Current issues include headlight switch (dash lights dim intermittently…drives me crazy), front door speakers (this is another annoyance…. I've replaced these twice already with OEM replacements…. don't do it! Get a nice aftermarket replacement, since it should last longer!!!), driver's door hinge pin and another freaking CV boot!

Folks in a nutshell... this Jeep has been the balls. I've considered replacing it (several times over the years) with BMWs and Rovers, but you know what... why spend the money? This Jeep has it all... including heated seats, which is a MUST HAVE in New England. DO YOUR MAINTENANCE!!! DON'T BE CHEAP!!! If you follow this recommendation… the vehicle will be reliable and a pleasure.

Prediction... this Jeep will become an icon at some point. It was a limited production vehicle, and Jeep spared little expense outfitting it. Fact….the interior is as nice today as it was when I purchased it! The leather is of the highest grade, and if maintained, will last a very long time (to include the steering wheel… of which most people have no clue how to restore and maintain).

Each year, the number of operating examples of 5.9s draw down from the original 14K made... because of accidents and abuse. These numbers have to be significant given the lower market prices. Given how the collector car market works… this Jeep should retain a great deal of its value, and actually start appreciating. Why you may ask…. because the market is flooded with SUVs that lack the passion and utility this vehicle provides. The SRT8 could do the same, but it's still hindered by the fact that Daimler Chrysler put the screws to their product lines, which seriously altered their design style and materials used. The new Grand Cherokee (2011) shows a promising face. I think the future for Jeep is getting brighter…. I hope.

If anyone wants a follow up to what I've written or has any question about the 5.9 Grand Cherokee… give me holler. My email address is bmwbillr@hotmail.com…. My name is Bill.